After starting the season with back to back losses, the Indian River High School softball team was looking to do their best Taylor Swift impression and shake it off headed into spring break.
“We’ve definitely been in tough situations before,” said head coach Erika Brittingham. “It’s tough to start off 0-2, but we still have 16 more games ahead of us for the regular season and hopefully there’ll be more to come after that.”
The Indians were put to the test early when they hosted defending state champion Polytech in their season opener on Tuesday, March 22. The Panthers were without graduated All-State pitcher and LLWS champion Shaina Reid, but did see senior C/3B Whitney DeMora step up to the plate to fill the void.
Not only did DeMora put together a solid defensive performance, but went 3-3 with three home runs and six RBI’s in the match up. Senior OF Amanda Waishes went 3-4 at bat as the Panthers pulled off the 9-3 victory, while the Indians saw their offensive production from sophomore pitcher Marley Evans, who went 2-3 with an RBI and junior 2B Madi McGee who doubled in the game.
On Thursday, March 24, they traveled up to Smyrna for another Henlopen North match up. After falling behind 4-0, senior LF Callie McDowell got the scoring started with an RBI double in the top of the fourth. McDowell would round the bases to make it 4-2 when she was knocked in by sophomore 3B Braydee Whitman on an RBI single later that inning.
Whitman would get on base again in the top of the 6th with a double, but was left stranded with the potential tying run at the plate. The Eagles would tack on another score to make it 5-2 still in the 6th, before eventually sealing the victory.
Three errors on the day for IR, compared to none for Smyrna, would prove to be a key factor in the outcome.
“They both hit the ball well,” Brittingham said of her squad’s first two opponents. “We just need to cut down on the mental errors little bit and I think we’ll be just fine.
“Our girls said it after the game, we didn’t have to tell them. They knew what they did wrong. They know what they need to improve on and I think that’s the good part of their game is they’re very aware of what needs to happen.”
After falling behind 0-2 to start the season, the Indians were looking to pull things together and get going in the right direction after spring break.
“Going 0-2, all we have to do is learn from it and move on,” said Brittingham. “Really what’s gonna happen is I’m gonna see how bad they want it and who gets in contact with the coaching staff and looks for more work. It’s all about work ethic.”
On Saturday, April 2, the girls were scheduled to head up to St. Mark’s for a 1 p.m. match up. They’ll continue what will be a four-game road stint on Thursday, April 7, at Sussex Tech at 4:15 p.m.